Hi! My name is Ashley, and after living a very sedentary childhood, I fell in love with travel in university. I, like many other university students, spent a summer abroad – my adventure was in Rome. I felt like I could live there forever. Unfortunately, I had to come back to the United States to finish up my degree.
A year after graduation I was accepted into Peace Corps and given my destination: Ethiopia. I spent the next 26 months getting to know the culture, language, education system, and lifestyle! I adapted to some things incredibly well – loose arrival times, family-oriented community, emphasis on leisure activities. Other things took longer to adjust to – lack of privacy, cold showers, terrible wine. Some things I never got used to – food, illness, sexism.
But I got to do so many things in Ethiopia: meet incredible people (including my husband!), visit rock-hewn churches, hike to waterfalls, explore castles, push myself out of my comfort zone, travel, relax. I visited random places like Djibouti, the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, and Italy.
At the end of our service, my (at the time) boyfriend and I decided to go on a 3-month trip to SE Asia to celebrate. We roamed around Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. I contracted bacterial conjunctivitis, attended a paper lantern festival, sent my bad thoughts/deeds down a river in a boat of flowers, hiked with elephants, explored temples, and ate amazing street food. As teachers, we found many, many cities we’d happily spend future years in.
Unfortunately, the day came when we had to leave SE Asia as well, and nearly 2 1/2 years after I left the United States I was returning to it. We spent the holidays (Christmas/New Years) with my family before moving down to Texas to be near his family for the next 18 months.
But nothing lasts forever and this past February we attended an international teaching job fair in Iowa. We walked away from the weekend with two-year contracts with a school in Ghana. Which meant after a quick summer wedding (just kidding, it was well planned), we are now ready for our flight on July 28 to take us to our new home in Accra!